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At World Travel Market, Formentera plays on island’s open spaces as source of competitive edge in Covid crisis

foto 2020 flamencosThe Formentera Tourism Department reports that London’s World Travel Market will end its three-day run today after the public health situation forced organisers to take the 2020 edition of the travel expo online.

Some twenty meetings took place 9–11 November between the Consell’s tourism marketing department and highly segmented travel agencies and online platforms, with department chief Carlos Bernús highlighting Formentera’s focus on off-season travellers as a means to complement the summer season.

Formentera’s representatives fielded a steady stream of questions concerning the creation of safe corridors ahead of the coming season, and they held up the island’s vast array of low-traffic open spaces as “a potential competitive edge while the public health crisis continues”, said Bernús.

At the fore of Formentera’s 2021 marketing operations is the effort to draw travellers from England, Germany, Italy and mainland Spain, with local reps nurturing additional contacts in places like the United States, Canada and Australia with an eye to future seasons.

Formentera’s representatives were keen to emphasise perks of off-season travel to the island and underlined a sprawling offering of culture, sport and the outdoors, including birdwatchers’ trails. Another key part of the pitch involved the island’s commitment to sustainability —in tourism, for the economy and for society at large— with reps talking up the formentera.eco scheme to regulate incoming vehicles and the Save Posidonia Project.

11 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera takes message of sustainability to World Travel Market’s online 2020 edition

foto 2020 salinesThe Formentera Department of Tourism reports that from 9 to 11 November the island will participate in London’s World Travel Market, traditionally a face-to-face expo that will be staged online in light of the public health situation.

The kick-off is set for Monday 9 November, when each of the four Balearic islands will share a video spotlighting their destination. According to marketing chief Carlos Bernús, Formentera’s clip situates the island on the world map, underscoring its rich scenic beauty —apt not just for beachbumming, but for sport, natural discovery and bird-watching routes too— history and homespun tradition.

Bernús said the virtual expo would find Formentera’s tourism team engaging in interviews and meetings with travel agencies, tour operators, press and even garden-variety travelers with an interest in the island. “We’ll be driving home all the perks of off-season travel to Formentera and our brimming calendar of cultural and sporting functions”, indicated the director.

Other points of focus will be Formentera’s commitment to tourist, economic and social sustainability, with local representatives holding up formentera.eco as an example. The island’s tourism reps will also hone in on Formentera’s wealth of low-traffic open spaces — likely a competitive edge amid  ongoing concern around the Covid-19 crisis.

5 November 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell offers training to help Formentera merchants enchance digital mettle

cartell 2020 capsules formativesThe Formentera Department of Commerce announces the start of ‘Càpsules formatives virtuals’ — a programme of online courses designed to help local business owners expand their portfolio of digital competences. The classes form part of a battery of initiatives developed in coordination with Formentera shopowners and cofinanced by the Consell and Govern balear (the former will fork out four thousand euros, the latter ten thousand) under this September’s “Open Sky” agreement.

Commerce councillor Ana Juan said the measure was just one of several Consell initiatives seeking to offer island businesses resources to navigate the Covid-19 crisis. “We want Formentera businesses to stay competitive and hope this training gives them the tools to take the spirit of Formentera online. “Formentera is committed to hometown commerce”, affirmed the councillor, “and now more than ever”.

The “training capsules” comprise six two-hour sessions of beginners’ and intermediate-level training and run Tuesday 10 November to 15 December.

Business owners interested in taking part can contact the commerce office by email (mercats@conselldeformentera.cat) or telephone (971.32.12.71 ext. 2).

Courses cover the following fields:

Making a go at online sales
-Tuesday 10 November, 5.00pm–7.00pm
Geolocalising your business
-Tuesday 17 November, 5.00pm–7.00pm
Selling on social media: Facebook & Instagram
-Tuesday 24 November, 5.00pm–7.00pm

Selling on WhatsApp business
-Tuesday 1 December, 5.00pm–7.00pm
Raffles, drawings and contests on Instagram & Facebook
-Wednesday 9 December, 5.00pm–7.00pm
Shaping a digital marketing strategy for your business
-Tuesday 15 December, 5.00pm–7.00pm

4 November 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera prepares special plan to turbocharge tourism and jumpstart economy

foto 2020 COPTMembers of the island’s small- and medium-sized business group (Pimef), Formentera Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Hotel Owners and assorted representatives of the local tourism sector and political parties gathered for a session of the Formentera Committee to Plan and Promote Tourism (COPT) — an encounter chaired by Consell de Formentera premiere and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer.

As attendees took stock of summer 2020, overlap was evident in feedback from the island’s tourism sector and from the Consell. After the encounter President Ferrer summarised the general sentiment around this year’s tourist season as “short, but better than expected in May”.

On the changing face of visitor habits during the pandemic, attendees pointed out drops public transport use and the increasingly frequent sight of private vehicles entering the island via the port. Hotels reported low occupancy while the reverse was true for homes and apartments, where private facilities allowed guests greater perceived safety amid the public health situation. The report-back was similarly rosy for local restaurants, whose outdoor spaces were apparently key to customers’ sense of security.

Current events
Talk alighted on the current state of emergency as well, not to mention the state of play across Europe. Attendees also heard an account of the year’s marketing campaigns. President Ferrer indicated that lockdown had found COPT members busily hammering out a promotional strategy, with some plans subsequently retooled for different markets and changing public health protocol — two factors that loomed large in the organisation of events and campaigns.

Economic reactivation and tourism 2021
Ferrer insisted that the winter ahead was a time to “roll up our sleeves and get to work” on the tourism and economic stimulus strategy, a document she said would take government involvement at the local, regional and national level. She asserted that the future strategy would “draw stock from islanders’ experiences rescaling summer 2020 events and divvying them up to avoid crowding and respect public health protocol”.

Ferrer highlighted plans next summer to promote Formentera as a ‘safe as possible’ destination, and said controls and screenings for national and international tourists, workers and residents were a key part of the public health conversation. With luck, testing alternatives will allow faster and more reliable antigen-based testing which, by summertime, can be workers in public-private sector partnerships. Additional discussion concerned other measures to enhance Formentera’s stability as a tourist destination.

Multiple encounters this November are aimed at ensuring the draft document is completed by the deadline at month’s end. A COPT gathering on the 30th will also serve as the opportunity to report on the tourist satisfaction barometer and updates from the island’s data observatory.

3 November 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell offers on-the-job training course for island’s aspiring youth leisure supervisors

The Formentera Department of Entrepreneurism reports that open enrolment has begun for an on-the-job training course designed to give local 16- to 29-year-olds the foundations to work as leisure supervisors.

Participants, referred to as “students/employees” and entering into training and apprenticeship contracts, will work as recreation supervisors at the Consell de Formentera’s assorted leisure centres. The six-month programme is scheduled to start in November.

The course is funded by the training and employment arm of the Balearic Islands Employment Service (SOIB) as part of a programme designed to enhance the dynamism of youth and adolescent recreational programmes. The cross-cutting brand of instruction employed in the course means participants will also receive English-language accreditation at the A2 level.

Interested parties must enrol by 25 October on the Mixed Training and Employment Programmes section of the SOIB website.

20 October 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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